The color of solar cells — and their short energy payback — are trivial factors when considering the huge climate benefit they provide in avoiding the release of CO2 from the combustion of fossil fuels. That was a central point I made when I broke the story on the error-riddled book Superfreakonomics…
Really? No: what JR actually said was:
“Here are the howlers in that paragraph for the record::
1. they aren’t bloack, they are blue,
2. their efficiency may be higher than 12%,
3. The biggest howler… What was the absorbtivity or emissivity of the material that the panel covered up,
4. Unparseable. Read it yourself.”
He later posted an update, after John O’Donnell pointed out that the major error is CO2. RC also made the same point. I’m not sure what the exciting “exclusive new analysis” is supposed to be, either. It looks like it covers the same ground as the RC post. But the factors that Romm has now, correctly, realised are trivial are the very ones he was promoting as major errors before.
[Update: JR is somewhat offended by my charge of revisionism and says there was no intention on my part to revise history and the current version is what I was trying to say all along. I'm not entirely sure what the differences are between the current and the original version - anybody keep a copy of the original? I've asked JR but no reply so far on that point - because the current version seems equally open to the criticism I first made.
His post now has a footnote NOTE: I have updated this post slightly for absolute clarity since some people might not read the first debunking post that I linked to above (click here), which lays out the timeline of how I came to include this factor of 100,000.; the footnote itself has been updated; originally it said ... for absolute clarity since some blogger out in the ether failed to read my first debunking post that I linked to above (again, click here, it isn't hard folks)... I was that "some blogger".]